The U’s had three home debutants in the side, with Matt Taylor, Luke Garbutt and Jeffrey Monakana all appearing for the first time at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
But they were pegged back by Emile Sinclair and, despite both sides hitting the woodwork and having plenty of chances - in the first half in particular - it was to end level.
There were plenty of chances in the first half and an early goal for Freddie Sears looked to have set the U's up nicely in their latest home game.
It was a second successive draw for the U's on Saturday, as they shared the spoils in an open game with Crawley Town.
The home side found themselves in front within five minutes of the start of the game. A patient, flowing move found Wilson on the right hand edge of the penalty area.
He dropped the ball back to Sears who was waiting in space and although his shot wasn’t the most cleanly hit, Jones wasn’t able to get down to it and it found its way into the bottom corner.
Crawley responded well to going behind, though, seeing plenty of the ball in the next ten minutes to put the U’s under pressure.
They had a chance from a corner that saw Simpson volley wide, and continued to ask questions of the U’s defence.
However, the U’s were next to go close. Ibehre intercepted a Crawley pass and Eastmond sent Monakana away. His darting run into the box ended with a shot that was deflected behind for a corner.
The Preston loanee went close again on 21 minutes, turning sharply on the edge of the box to rifle in a shot that forced a fine save out of Jones.
The U’s should have doubled their advantage on 26 minutes from a Crawley mistake.
Sears intercepted a crossfield pass and squared the ball to Ibehre, who on the edge of the box, lifted a shot that cannoned off the top of the bar.
Another excellently crafted move saw the ball sent out to Sears on the right and his dinked cross was headed straight at Jones by Ibehre.
Those misses proved crucial as Crawley drew level. Sadler got to the byline and lifted a cross to the near post for Sinclair to power home a header.
The Reds could have taken the lead just afterwards. Drury’s shot cannoned off the inside of the post and back across goal to Clarke, who looked destined to score before Walker made a superb reaction save.
Adams then drove in a shot from distance that fizzed wide, but the teams were to go into the half all square after an open first forty-five minutes.
Gilbey was the first to see a sight of goal at the start of the second half, hitting an audacious effort from distance that had Jones scrambling as it hit the roof of the net.
Chances were relatively limited in the second half and Simpson was in the right place at the right time to block a Gilbey effort before Clarke was denied by a good save from Walker.
The former Ipswich man did have the ball in the back of the net with fifteen minutes to go, but his close range finish did not put Crawley in front, as he was denied by the offside flag.
Wright and Monakana both tried to work openings that eventually earned the U’s a corner but Garbutt’s excellent deliveries weren’t quite finding U’s men.
Morrison and Ladapo were introduced for the last twelve minutes and Conor Hubble came on for his Football League debut, but they were unable to unlock the resilient Crawley defence as the game finished all square.